african cross country championships

the past weekend saw africas best line up in jonkershoek,stellencosch in a fight to secure vital points for the london olympic games next year. for me it was important to secure maximum points as it will determine my starting point in that same race.

as i arrived in stellenbosch on thursday i got to meet up with some of the factory specialized crew for lunch before a much needed the afternoon dylan(mechanic) and i hit jonkershoek for some practice laps on the newly built circuit.i had received my new 29inch wheeled specialized epic and wow was it the perfect bike for this ultra rough track.the course was mostly uphill and rough for the first half and mostly downhill and rough for the rest.and i mean to say it was rough was an understatement!nevertheless i thaught the course was awesome and i looked forward to the race.

on friday anthony sinyard and i headed to the track for some laps.anthony is visiting in sa and doing some training before tackling the usa pro xct series this year and got to do the citizens race on sat ahead of the championships.also in the citizens race was merida pro ralph naef.

the pro men kicked of at 2pm and as it was last week,super hot!the pace was furious from the gun with renay groustra(gt-mr price) and phillip buys(garmin-addidas)sprinting up the road.i managed to tag on and get into the first singletrack in second.the pace dropped and i worked my way past renay in the first sandy/steep part.i pushed hard through the rocky singletrail to get a gap before the steepest climb.the course had gotten much rougher through the day racing and by the time we hit the climb it was almost unrideable.on the first lap i got up and solidified my gap.on the second lap the heat got to me alittle and i backed of alot.from lap 3 i was back on the gas and kept it smooth and steady to the end.i was having a great time on the epic 29er and letting it hang out in the turns.

after 1hr 42min i crossed the line and took my third african title.marc bassingthwaite(nam-garmin) took 2nd and phillip buys(rsa-garmin)3rd.thanks to everyone who came out and supported.we had some great riders and athletes supporting out there and the whole crew from

on sunday i had a nice recovery ride with bobby(manager) the irishman and my dad in jonkershoek.we checked out some of the downhill before bobby dragged his stumpy over some rocks.the bike was fine,bobby was bruised...

im back in kzn for two weeks of hard eipc training right now,hope to see alot of people on the roads!